Meet your merchant: One salon door closed, a new one opened | TheUnion.com

Meet your merchant: One salon door closed, a new one opened

From left, Jamee McGivern and Heather Zelle, co-owners of Twist Salon in Nevada City.

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Twist Salon

100 Argall Way, Suite A, Nevada City

530-478-9478

Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, mostly by appointment. Some walk-ins available.

Facebook: Twist Salon

Years ago, Heather Zelle and Jamee McGivern hit it off immediately while working together at a Brunswick Basin hair salon in Grass Valley. It was a happy work environment with a true camaraderie among the entire staff, which is why it came as shock when the owners — after decades of working in the salon business — decided to sell their business and retire.

"We weren't sure what we would do next," said McGivern. "But I told Heather,'Wherever you go, I want to go.'"

It didn't take long before McGivern and Zelle began envisioning owning their very own hair salon.

"We pictured a family-oriented salon that was small, open, airy and bright — something intimate but with places to sit when you're not in a stylist's chair," said McGivern. "I've wanted to own a salon since I was a little girl."

But the big question was, "Where?"

One day, McGivern happened to be driving by an empty storefront – home to a former barber shop — on the corner of Searls Avenue and Argall Way in Nevada City.

"I ran into Miner Moe's Pizza next door and asked Moe if she had any information," she said. "She gave me the landlord's contact information and we called right away."

The timing turned out to be perfect. Once the lease was signed, Zelle and McGivern worked day and night for the next three weeks, painting, buying supplies and putting together furniture.

"Our families were there working alongside us," said McGivern. "We couldn't have done it without them. Their support was just awesome."

The result? A spacious, clean, colorful boutique salon with an enviable amount of natural light, thanks to being situated on the corner lot.

In June of 2013, the duo opened the doors of their very own business, "Twist Salon." Thanks to a long-time loyal clientele, their appointment book was nearly full from the get-go.

While the pair was new to business ownership, they were not new to hair. To date, both have been hair stylists for more than 12 years. Clients at the salon range from children coming in for their first haircut to seniors in their upper 80s. Many clients have stuck with the stylists since they worked at the Grass Valley salon. Word of mouth remains their best advertising.

A year after opening Twist, hair stylist and former co-worker Jenny Wilson began renting a station at the salon. She says it was the best professional move she's ever made.

"I've been doing hair for 27 years, and some of my clients have been with me for 20 — I've watched some of them grow up," said Wilson. "Heather and Jamee are the greatest girls to work with — they're wonderful women. I makes such a difference to have a good team. I just love coming in every day and being happy."

All three stylists make it a point to regularly attend classes, seminars and hair shows, where they learn about up-to-the-minute styles and products. The latest popular coloring technique is "Balayage," a French word meaning "to sweep or to paint," and is the art of hand-painting color on to hair. As a result, there is no need for foils.

Products at Twist have all been carefully researched, and that's why they've settled primarily on the Eufora product line, which meets rigorous standards in formulation, using nearly 75 different natural plant extracts and essential oils, all of which are classified as renewable resources and considered biodegradable. Not only are Eufora products environmentally friendly, they implement socially and economically fair practices.

"The products in this industry can be toxic, but Eufora is planet friendly," said McGivern. "This is a safe product — it's nice to believe in something you're using every day."

In spite of the stylists' extensive experience and expertise, Zelle says it all comes down to putting the client first.

"You absolutely have to be a people person to be in this business — to have that special touch that shows people you care," she said. "Sometimes people come in having had a horrible day and walk out a different person, so happy. I'm blessed to do what I love every day with people I love — we're all here for each other."

To contact Staff Writer Cory Fisher, email her at Cory@theunion.com.